“I’m Kind of an Old-School Dominatrix” (and other hot moments from SXSW)

March 14th, 2007 by Larry Smith

Ze_pod.jpgSome panels broke out during the party that was SXSW Interactive these past few days. With Emergen-C and SMITH co-conspirators Tim Barkow and Rachel Fershleiser as my copilots, I managed to make it to many great panels, speeches, and live events (podcasts are available for many now). The big stars of an inspirational and exhausting long festival were our friends at Twitter (who helped launch our six-word memoir contest a few months back and now are the talk of the Net), the mini-Moo cards that were flying in and out of insatiable networkers, micropayments in the form of flowers and duckies that are a promising online revenue stream, and the inimitable Ze Frank (above), who hosted the 10th SXSW Web Awards to perfect pitch—and a reminder that the Web cannot wait to see what he has cooking next after his year long online video experiment comes to its awesome end on Saturday. I’m thinking talk show.

Later in the week, I’ll blog about some specific sites and ideas I had the pleasure to discover in Austin, but in the spirit of laziness and post-SXSW crispiness, for now here are five of my favorite lines from the conference.

1. “To a lot of bloggers, the only thing worse than being on Gawker is not being on Gawker.” —Alyssa Shelasky, during the “Do You Blog on a First Date” panel that also featured the unstoppable Rachel Kramer Bussel, who knows a lot about sex, cupcakes and good memoirs.

Woolf_Rebecca_07.jpg2.”We trying to change parenting culture.” —Our old friend Neal Pollack in a typically understated statement, during his panel on the new wave of hipster parenting blogs, balanced nicely with our new friend, Girl’s Gone Child blogger Rebecca Woolf (pictured here—she’s better looking than Neal; sorry buddy), who pointed out that “the hipster parenting movement isn’t anything new” and that “the minute the media call you cool, you’re not.”

3. “To be Web 2.0 you need a rounded lowercase font and a 3D logo that looks like candy.” —True ‘nuf from the guys from Clearleft during “How to Buff Your Way In Web 2.0.”

4. “Always be barking.” —Dan Rather, in conversation with Jane Hamsher, on the role of the press as a watch dog—rather than lap dogs or attack dogs—and the burgeoning role of bloggers as barkers.

5. Three quips from a really fun and informative talk on the future of online magazines moderated by Nerve + Babble’s Rufus Griscom:
• “I’m kind of an old-school dominatrix.” —MediaBistro’s Laurel Touby, not actually pitching SMITH to be our next diarist, but discussing how she’s a tough businesswoman … though I am still not sure what she was talking about.
• “I was there through the dotcom Holocaust” —The Onion’s Sean Mills, who, in the interest of tastefulness, later amended that statement to “the dotcom 9/11.”
mag_panel.JPG• “In the spirit of the self-promotion going on at this panel, can you please put smithmag.net up on the big screen as I ask my question?” —SMITH Magazine’s Larry Smith, aka, me, as I posed a question to the panel about what things have they tried on their sites that didn’t work despite their enthusiasm … and,
as they answered, relished seeing our site on a huge screen in a room packed with people who dig what we all can and hope to do in this medium.

For podcasts on a lot of what’s mentioned above, and lots of other stuff I missed and you missed, go here.

Ze Frank>>Flickr>>Creative Commons>>kk+’s